The Bethlehem Garden Club has generously donated two benches to the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy. These beautiful benches, built of cedar wood by local craftsman Brett Pulliam, are dedicated to the memory of Angelina Catinella, a former member of the Bethlehem Garden Club who left a generous bequest.
On Tuesday, September 26th, our Stewardship and Volunteer Coordinator, Sawyer Cresap, was joined by volunteers Scott Lewendon and Paul Groenwegen to move the two benches into their new locations. One bench was placed at the Van Dyke Preserve, and the other at Normans Kill West Preserve. Both nature preserves are in the town of Bethlehem and are open to the public. Cresap said of the donations, “The Bethlehem Garden Club benches are a wonderful addition to our Van Dyke and Normans Kill West Preserves. They will provide a spot for painters to capture inspiration, a home base for birders to take out their binoculars, and a convenient rest stop for hikers on the trail. We are so grateful for the contribution this dedicated group has made for all those who enjoy MHLC lands.”
At the Van Dyke Preserve, four representatives from the Bethlehem Garden Club met with Cresap, the volunteers, and MHLC Board Chair Cathie Love to see the newly installed bench. The Bethlehem Garden Club was represented by Marcy Corneil, President, Louise Kavanaugh, Treasurer, and Dodie Seagle and Ellie Prakken, both members of the Bethlehem Garden Club and board members of MHLC. In the unexpected heat of the early autumn morning, the group admired the beauty of the new bench, as well as the lovely view over the Phillipin Kill stream, while enjoying the shade of the beech, oak, hickory and hemlock trees which line the trails of Van Dyke Preserve.
Dodie Seagle wrote that the Bethlehem Garden Club considered several projects for the bequest from Angelina Catinella. “After thorough discussion, the club members voted unanimously to purchase the two benches for two MHLC preserves in Bethlehem. ‘Encouraging and teaching environmental stewardship and preservation of all natural resources’ is one of the objectives in the garden club bylaws. We also believe that the benches will be a lasting memory of Angelina Catinella, since she provided such a generous bequest to the garden club. We are grateful for her generous gift.”
Cathie Love, chair of the MHLC Board, said of the donation: “MHLC is very grateful for the gift of two benches by the Bethlehem Garden Club. The women of the garden club continue to make our area a better place to live. These benches give visitors to MHLC preserves a place to relax in nature and contemplate their beautiful surroundings.”
The Bethlehem Garden Club of NY is a women-membership based non-profit organization aiming to share our gardening skills with the community.